Somanje son off to flying start


FAHEEM, the eldest son of late musician Daiton Somanje, wept uncontrollably the night the hearse carrying his father’s body arrived at the family’s Rusike home in Marondera.

by Jairos Saunyama

Daiton had joined his ancestors leaving Faheem the mammoth task of taking care of his siblings but more importantly his popular Pengaudzoke ensemble.

During that cold Wednesday night, Faheem found solace in one of the most celebrated musicians in the country, Nicholas “Madzibaba” Zakaria, who together with his younger brother Zakaria Zakaria spent the whole night at the funeral wake.

The two musicians were the only who ones who braved the chilly Marondera weather as they joined the Somanje relatives and friends in mourning the Tsaona hitmaker.

Other notable musicians came the following day, with most of them only featuring during burial time.

Daiton died few weeks ago after succumbing to meningitis at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Faheem did not know that Madzibaba, apart from being part of the mourners, had other thoughts, perhaps an answer to all his problems and fortunately a guardian angel to his future music career.

Faheem’s emotions got stronger as he took to the stage and led the Pengaudzoke team on stage as they entertained mourners during the greater part of the night.

Faheem surprised many as he presented himself as the heir to the Pengaudzoke throne through a scintillating performance that left the mourners with tears streaming down their cheeks.

He was exceptional, the spirit of Daiton had possessed him, and he played for the mourners with all his heart.

And Madzibaba Zakaria was watching.

Faheem’s world crumbled as his father’s body was lowered into the narrow but deep grave at Meki Cemetery in Marondera. He was sure that his father indeed had joined his ancestors.

It dawned on him that he was now on his own in this cruel world, let alone a music industry that has produced stars and failures.

Barely a month after his father died, Faheem at the weekend shocked many as his two shows in Marondera pulled scores of Penga Penga music fans.

On Sunday, at Nyameni Beerhall the young musician who was leading his father’s band members did not disappoint and judging by the crowd and performance, Pengaudzoke music is alive.

“I just said to myself let me take the bull by the horns.It is not an easy road, but I have to prove myself like any other son of a legend. Our weekend shows were well attended beyond my expectations. I am leading the band members left by my father though some former Pengaudzoke instrumentalists based in Marondera were present,” said Faheem with his voice full of vigour.

Faheem has roped in his younger brother Halili as a vocalist.

The Nyameni show was attended by former Pengaudzoke bassist Patrick Jivason and one of the early members Kenge Mupombera who briefly entertained the crowd.

A number of “sons of legends” had to be led by established musicians, engaging them as curtain raisers before weaning them off to face the world on their own.
But in this case, Madzibaba has engaged Pengaudzoke, a move that was welcomed by many.

“A number of shows are lined up for me, but credit goes to Madzibaba (Nicholas Zakaria) who is guiding us. This weekend we have two shows, one in Macheke and the other one in Marondera. It is an honour to share the stage with a musician like him and I know I will learn a lot,” said Faheem.

On Friday, Madzibaba Zakaria will share the stage with Pengaudzoke at Waterloo Nightclub in Macheke before another show at Makotore Bar in Marondera the following day.

Other sons and daughters of legends like Tryson and Sulumani Chimbetu, Potipha Mopo, Peter Moyo and Jean Masters among others successfully launched their music careers after the death of their fathers. The baton has been passed on to Faheem whose journey to success begins now.